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Background is necessary to orientate the reader to what you are doing, but it is possible to give too much detail so that the reader starts to wonder why they need to know all of what they are being told.
The methods section should explain: One possible structure is an introductory section that provides a justification and explanation of the methodological approach(es) chosen, followed by relevant elements of the classical sub-sections: However, there is a lot of disciplinary variation in the way these things are done, so use the ideas from here to analyse what you see in your discipline.
Common problems include (see Paltridge and Starfield (2002), Ch.
explaining why the literature review is scattered throughout the "papers for publication" chapters rather than being in a separate chapter as is common.
The Introduction in Lewis Wolpert's book, The Unnatural Nature of Science (Biol Sc and Ipswich: Q175 .
W737), gives a good example of what a useful outline looks like.) These three questions can be used to broadly analyse the structure of other people's writing so that you can get an overview of what they have done and how they have organised things.
Another way of analysing your writing and the writing of others is to consider which of the following three "moves" are being made in each paragraph or section of a paragraph (see Paltridge and Starfield, 2007, Ch.
6 for more): A common structure is to start with the broadest possible motivation and then gradually narrow the scope until the particular focus of the thesis or article is reached (e.g. However, some writers prefer to start with a statement of the aim of the research, then proceed to give the arguments for pursuing that aim.
( where they will end up until they get there, so introductions and abstracts are often the last sections of a paper or thesis which are written.
(Some indicative statistics would be enough to make your point, you wouldn't need masses of statistics.) It might help here to think of your Introduction as being what you would tell an educated friend who wanted to know what your research is all about and why you are doing it, while the Literature Review is for other researchers in the field.
It needs to be noted, however, that in some disciplines or areas the Introduction includes the Literature Review, and so can be quite lengthy.